I don’t often write about competitions and promotions, but the fact that Orange is offering up to £200,000 of investment capital for a new business idea was worth sharing, particularly as it also comes with legal and business planning advice, plus mentoring and marketing consultancy.
They’re looking for creativity and innovation in your idea, and it could be a great chance to get a handy kickstart in pursuing something you’ve thought about for a while. Thinking about the last 18 months, it’s certainly assistance that might have made starting my own business a lot easier, rather than trying to slowly bootstrap my way up. And it’s also not a bad brand to be associated with given that Orange have always done things a little differently, including with some memorable advertising and promotions.
The examples of how to be different are interesting, as they cover everything from a revolutionary new product, improving an existing one, communicating or working in a different way, etc.
Aside from the fact you’ll need to be 18 or older and your business will need to be UK based, the criteria for entry is massively open. There’s a checklist to help hone your pitch on the Win Your Business website, along with a more detailed entry guide.
It could be particularly brilliant if you’re currently in a job but dreaming of doing your own thing. If you’ve got a mortgage or family commitments, it means a no risk way to get financial and business help to get started with slightly more of a safety net. Certainly it should help you avoid the kind of mistakes I’ve made, whether it’s getting your finances straight from the start. If nothing else it’s good practice for crafting a business pitch.
Being sneaky, there’s also another good way to benefit – if you’ve got a friend who is always coming up with unusual ideas, why not send them the link to Different Business. That way, they might either end up running a successful business which you could benefit from in the future (They’d at least owe you a nice meal or some drinks as a thank you!)